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Ex-Union Minister Balasaheb Vikhe Patil cremated

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Shirdi (Maha) : The mortal remains of former union minister and senior Congress leader Balasaheb Vikhe Patil were today consigned to flames at Pravaranagar in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.

Vikhe Patil yesterday passed away at his residence in Loni village in Ahmednagar district following prolonged illness.

He was 84. The cremation took place with full state honours at the ground of Padmashree Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil Co-operative Sugar Mill in Pravaranagar.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, state Minister Girish Mahajan, Ram Shinde, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Chavan, MPs Dilip Gandhi and Sadashiv Lokhande paid their last respects to Vikhe-Patil.

Vikhe Patil largely kept away from public life in the last couple of years due to his illness. His son Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil is a senior Congress leader and currently is the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly.

Though a Congressman for most of his career, Balasaheb was elected to Lok Sabha on a Shiv Sena ticket in 1998 and became Minister of State for Finance in the NDA government. He was subsequently elevated as Minister for Heavy Industries.

Earlier, thousands of people paid their last respects to Vikhe Patil at Pravaranagar.

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